Body Image & Autonomy

If men want women to have better body image, maybe they should stop focusing so much on our bodies by Meghan Murphy

“He goes on to explain that “Men are often surprised to discover how even the most intelligent, capable, rational and empowered women can be laid low by body dissatisfaction. Many of us just don’t get it.” Yeah, we know you don’t get it. You want us to be “confident” and never express any of our insecurities to you despite putting us on display and forcing us to perform femininity day in and day out. You don’t want us to worry about dieting or wrinkles but treat us as invisible and irrelevant and gross if we gain weight or age. You want us to not obsess over our flaws yet you point out how “pretty” or “hot” women are above all else, failing to realize that the first thing you comment on when you describe men is not their appearances. You want us to be “natural” but also hairless. I’ve heard this old song and dance a million times and it is a load of shit.

If you don’t understand what it’s like to live in this world as a woman, ask a woman (there’s one thing Sigman is right on: talking to women). If you think it’s so unattractive for women to have insecurities or to worry about their bodies and appearances, stop focusing first and foremost on women’s bodies and appearances. Stop watching porn, stop objectifying women on the street, stop describing women’s physical traits as though they speak to her personhood. “She has a cute ass,” is not relevant to anything, ever.

The way that patriarchy works is that it tells men that they are the default human and that women, therefore, exist only in relation to men. And this is precisely what Sigman’s theory reinforces. Stop making our existence about you. There. Problem solved.”

Read more HERE

* What We Need to Teach Young Women About Their Bodies by Ruth Miller

“I used to work in a sexual health clinic. It was interesting but sometimes frustrating work. One day a young woman came in upset and angry about a “discharge” she had that she didn’t like and wanted to get rid of.

“I’ve been to two other clinics and had tests and they tell me there’s nothing wrong with me. But I still have this discharge!”

“I asked her if the discharge was clear and watery, like egg whites. She said it was. “You know, there is nothing wrong with you,” I said. “In fact, everything is right with you. That is your natural cervical mucus. It comes every month before ovulation, and it has to do with your fertility.”

“We then had a conversation about the mucus changes over the month and what these changes mean. She left, much relieved and a lot wiser.

“Women don’t understand their fertility.

“At the clinic I rarely met women, young or old, who understand their fertility and what happens during the menstrual cycle. They all know about the blood, although not always why they bleed. But few know anything about what happens between periods. No one has told them.”

Read more HERE

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